Q. Dear Terry, “I’m looking for a natural antibiotic that I can take on a daily basis. I get at least several urinary tract infections per year and I don’t want to take antibiotics because they really mess up my digestion. What is a natural alternative?” – Gretta R., Salem, OR
A. Dear Gretta, Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can be very serious if left untreated. I highly encourage you to keep your healthcare practitioner in the loop regarding any supplementation. With that being said, I think I have a very beneficial, natural ingredient that can help strengthen the immune system and decrease urinary tract issues.
There’s little doubt that most people have heard about the health benefits of honey – immune and DNA protection are just two of them – but I think fewer people are probably familiar with propolis. Propolis is one of my favorite ingredients for fighting off pathogens – whether bacterial, viral, or fungal.
The majority of UTIs are caused by bacteria, but viral and fungal UTIs are possible too. Because propolis has been shown in scientific studies to be effective against all of these, I think it would be great to add to your daily preventive regimen.
Propolis is a substance that is a collaborative effort between plants and bees. Bees gather the resins produced by trees and other plants, then modify this material with their own enzymes.
The main compounds found in propolis typically include polyphenols, vitamins (including vitamins B1, B2, B6, C, and E), minerals (including magnesium, potassium, zinc, and calcium), enzymes, and antifungal and antibacterial flavonoids. Additionally, propolis also includes pinene and other essential oils occurring naturally in tree and plant resins.
With so many naturally-occurring compounds, it’s no wonder that propolis has such broad-reaching effects in the body. Propolis has been studied for its antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and even anti-tumor effects.
Make sure you use propolis that comes from a controlled and managed bee population so the material provides consistent levels of bacteria, virus, and fungi fighting compounds. Look for a clinically studied propolis that is purified and contains no beeswax. For daily support, I would take propolis once or twice per day.
Terry . . . Naturally
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